Last June, amid the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement and an ongoing conversation about diversifying the music industry, DJs Niks Delanancy and Kay Ferdinand created Black Bandcamp -- a public Google spreadsheet of Black artists with links to their pages on the online music marketplace. The London-based duo hoped the resource would bring recognition -- and revenue -- to Black artists, especially in the electronic scene, which is dominated by white acts who benefit from the work of the genre’s Black pioneers.
"The whole music industry has relied on the erasure and commodification of Black culture," says Delanancy. "It has become so normalized that unless it’s called out ... then there’s no change."
What started as a simple online spreadsheet rapidly grew into a community-run platform, and on May 5, Black Bandcamp relaunched as the Black Artist Database (B.A.D.). It now has over 3,500 user-submitted profiles representing Black creators from across international markets, genres and industries, from visual artists to publishers and labels, directing visitors to Bandcamp pages or personal websites. The B.A.D. website also publishes artist interviews and DJ mixes, as well as mixed-media features through its new editorial division, Voices. "With the conversation on race in wider society being so prevalent," says Ferdinand, "it seems the industry is more inclined to listen."